NRA News Compares Separate Housing Of Gun-Toting Students To “Separate But Equal” Racial Discrimination

During the August 17 edition of Cam & Company on NRA News, host Cam Edwards teased a segment about a new University of Colorado policy to place students who wish to possess guns on campus in separate housing from other students by stating, “Segregated dorms. Yes. How progressive. We are back to segregation now.”

After the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the University of Colorado could not prohibit students from possessing firearms on campus, the university announced on Friday that gun-carrying students who wished to use on-campus housing must live in a designated dorm located at a secondary campus in downtown Boulder.  

That night Edwards, and guest James Manley -- an attorney who helped overturn the campus gun ban -- were quick to draw a false equivalence between the university policy and racial segregation during the 20th century in America.

CAM EDWARDS, HOST: The ban was struck down and today the University of Colorado announced what they are going to do with concealed carry holders who want to live on campus. Basically they are not going to be able to live in the regular dorms; instead the campus is going to push them off to a number of family housing units. Right?

JIM MANLEY, MOUNTAIN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION: Right. It's sort of a policy of “separate but equal.” If you want to exercise your Second Amendment rights you have to live in a segregated dorm essentially. 

Far from the sinister motivation behind “separate but equal,” the rationale cited by CU for its new policy is the avoidance of "potentially dangerous living situations."

School officials believe this new policy will prevent potentially dangerous living situations on-campus because many students who live in the dorms are under the age of 21 and can't legally carry a gun.

“With the potential of having a roommate that may appropriately have a concealed carry permit and then the gun being mishandled by another student or friend or something like that,” said [Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Deb] Coffin.  

As the university has noted, the vast majority of students who live in the dorms are under the age of 21, and thus ineligible to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The approach would only affect, potentially, a very small number of individuals. An analysis by the University of Colorado shows that 0.6 percent of the faculty, staff and students on campus possess a CCP [Concealed Carry Permit]. A full 96 percent of CU-Boulder undergraduate students living in the residence halls are under the age of 21, and are thus ineligible to have a CCP. Of the 4 percent of eligible students, about half living on campus are CU Resident Advisers, or “RAs,” who as CU employees would not be permitted to live in undergraduate halls and possess a CCP. 

Furthermore, students who do not wish to be exposed to guns may appreciate the school's new policy, which gives students the choice to live in a gun-free dorm. A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the Journal of American College Health found that "[s]tudents who reported having firearms at college disproportionately reported that they engaged in behaviors that put themselves and others at risk for injury."

The study found that college student gun owners were more likely to:

  • Drive a motor vehicle after binge drinking
  • Vandalize property
  • Get into trouble with the police
  • To report having been threatened with a gun while at college